Want to try out for CTE shows? Find out all about it right here!
In 1988, CTE was founded with the goal of casting as many interested young people as we possibly could so they could have a chance to learn, improve, perform – and have fun! And that’s still our goal.
Every show starts with an open casting call, meaning that anyone in the right age group may audition and the roles are not pre-cast. We love to cast young people with a broad range of skills, including brand new students.
Note: CTE workshops are definitely helpful preparation for auditions and participation, but are not a requirement.
General Audition Information
Children’s Theatre of Elgin (CTE) is for children in 2nd through 9th grade. 1st graders may only audition if they will be finished with 1st grade at the time of the show opening. Fox Valley Theatre Company (FVTC) is for young people in 9th grade through age 20. All CTE and FVTC programs are open to all individuals of the appropriate ages regardless of disability, gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, or economic status.
Rehearsals are generally Monday-Thursday evenings from about 6-9:30 pm (about 6-9 pm for CTE shows at The Hemmens) for about 8 weeks prior to performances. Most cast members would be scheduled about 2 nights a week for the first few weeks, but once we begin running the full acts all cast members would be expected to attend. Up to 3 excused absences are allowed during regular rehearsals. Additional absences must be approved by producer and may jeopardize student’s participation. Attendance is required at all tech/dress rehearsals and performances. Shows at The Hemmens Cultural Center include 2 school days. Volunteers are the backbone of CTE productions! During registration, parents/guardians and older cast members are expected to sign up for committee volunteer work. Click to see a list of committees and basic duties. Please note that not all committees are needed for every show, so the list may vary.
Prepare! Prepare! Prepare!
What to bring to the audition
- Sheet music, marked for accompanist. Go to sheetmusicplus.com or musicnotes.com – most audition-appropriate music can be found on there!
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
- A water bottle
Note: Due to limited time availability, registration is required for all auditions. Please go to the bottom of this page and click the button to register.
During the audition
Please arrive a few minutes before your scheduled audition time, and plan to stay a few minutes after if needed. Most shows have a reading, music, and dance component. Reading: Demonstrate good script reading skills and with expression. Students may be asked to show an emotion or pantomime an action. Dance: Learn a brief dance sequence and be evaluated on enthusiasm as well as ability. Music: Song is auditioner’s choice. Bring sheet music for accompanist and additional copy for singer if needed. Musicnotes.com and sheetmusicplus.com are great resources for downloadable sheet music. Songs from musical theatre are always a good choice, and pop music is discouraged. Music should be 1) clearly marked for accompanist, 2) selected to show the strength of the vocalist, and 3) must not exceed 1 minute in length. Directors look for enthusiasm, vocal quality, tone, pitch, volume and range.
Code of Conduct requirements
All cast members and parents/guardians must read and agree to abide by CTE’s codes of conduct. Violation of the code may lead to cast member’s immediate removal from the show and may jeopardize further participation. Cast Member Code of Conduct (minors) Cast Member Code of Conduct Age 18+ Adult-Parent Volunteer Code of Conduct
Cost to participate
There is no fee to audition for CTE/FVTC. Once cast, you will be send a link to register for the show. This registration will include payment of show fees. This amount varies per show, and ranges from about $130 to $260, depending upon the show.
Payment is due on the day of the first rehearsal. Parents may either pay in full or enroll in a payment plan by the first rehearsal date. After five calendar days, a $25 late fee will be added to the student’s registration. After ten calendar days, parents can no longer register for the show.
Cancellation and refund schedule:
100% refund given if cancellation is communicated 1-6 calendar days after the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, CTE refunds the 25% deposit paid at registration
75% refund given if cancellation is communicated within 7-13 calendar days of the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, CTE keeps the 25% already charged, but does not charge the remaining 75%
50% refund given if cancellation is communicated within 14-20 calendar days of the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, CTE agrees to not charge anything further, but keeps the two 25% installment payments already made.
No refund will be given if cancellation is communicated 21 calendar days or more after the first rehearsal date. If enrolled in a payment plan, parent agrees that the card on file will be charged the full amount at the time of cancellation.
Specific shoes (usually jazz, character, or tap shoes) as well as some costume pieces and personal makeup and hair supplies will also be required. For shows performed at The Hemmens Cultural Center, cast families may be asked to provide treats to sell during intermission or pay an additional fee to opt out.
We are pleased to offer a limited number of partial participation fees scholarships to cast members with a genuine financial need who would otherwise not be able to participate. To apply, download and submit our scholarship form and submit along with the required documentation by the close of auditions. Enclose all paperwork in a sealed envelope marked “CTE Scholarship Committee” and mail to “Children’s Theatre of Elgin, 1700 Spartan Drive H104, Elgin IL 60123” or scan and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional volunteer service is expected of parents and/or cast members over age 18 years when scholarship support is provided. It is also our hope that, if at some future date the family is in a position to give back to CTE as a donor, they will choose to do so. Questions? Contact our office at 847-214-7152 or email@example.com. CTE Scholarship Application